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Full text of "NightRider"

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Absorbed in his own thoughts, he scarcely followed the tune
and the story of sadness and hinted violence in the woods.
But Adelle Proudfit's voice was going on, moving in that
melancholy rhythm:

" ówanderer be,
For a ship sat at the seaside,
And he got in that pretty ship
To sail to the other side.

He had not sailed not many miles

When the awful storm came down
And beat upon the pretty ship,

Made it under the sea sink down.

There he met his Pretty Polly

All wrapped in gores of blood,
And she held out in her lily-white arms,

An infant was of mine."

He had risen, and had walked away across the yard.

That night he had dreamed the dream. In the dream he
saw May approaching him, slowly, as from a great distance
across which he strained. Her pale hair was down, loose,
and she held a bundle in her arms. On her face, as she
approached him, there was a great sweetness, but a sadness,
and she approached slowly, as though her feet were weighted
with lead. Closer, she held out the bundle toward him. He
saw that it was wrapped in old newspaper, stained and torn.
Then, as he strained toward her and reached to take the
bundle from her arms, the paper began to flake away from
the bundle, as though disintegrating from its own sodden
weight, hanging in shreds over May's hands and bare arms.
He saw, then, what the paper had concealed. There, on
May's outstretched arms, was a body, a foetus like those
which he had seen suspended in liquid in great glass jars at
the medical school at Philadelphia, ill-formed, inhuman,
dripping, grey like the one in the jars, and with a stench
like death. But May's face had retained the expression of
sweetness and sadness, and his own arms had remained reach-
ing toward her as though to take the bundle. Then, the last
shreds of the sodden paper fell away from what was the